Fortified servers power up after extensive downtime

PSN developer network returns

The PlayStation developer network is running back online for the first time in four weeks, Sony has told Develop.

And consumer PSN services are beginning to return too, after 28 days of inactivity.

A new firmware is rolling out across the globe, though the service has been temporarily blocked in Japan.

Sony Online Entertainment has also resumed its games servers, with titles like Everquest 2 up and running.

The PSN revival brings the end of a sorry chapter in the network’s history. In mid-April, both Sony Online Entertainment servers and two critical PSN servers were hacked, exposing the sensitive details of over 100 million accounts.

Sony still has to answer to state officials and pressure groups about the incident, and the company is preparing for uncomfortable questions from the press.

It is still a matter of debate whether Sony had announced the PSN and SOE hack within a reasonable timeframe.

The network restoration is phased, with most services excluding game downloads already up and running.

The latest PS3 firmware update – v3.61 – has a compulsory password change feature.

“Please note that these services will take a bit of time to be turned on and rolled out to the whole of the US,” said Sony communications exec Nick Caplin.

“In the meantime, now’s a great time to get your PS3’s firmware updated and change your password, both of which are required to get online.

“We’ll let you know as each territory goes online via @PlayStationEU on Twitter, at which point you will be able change your PSN password.”

Sony Online Entertainment said in a statement: "We are pleased to be back online and deeply apologise for the inconvenience caused by the recent data breach and subsequent outage.”

In Japan, Sony’s opening of the service has been blocked to the public until further security assurances can be given.

"We met with Sony on May 6th and 13th and basically we want two things from them," state official Kazushige Nobutani said.

"As of May 13th, Sony was incomplete in exercising measures that they said they will do on the May 1st press conference.

"There were similar cases in the past that were caused by other firms, and we are asking Sony whether their measures are good enough when compared to countermeasures taken in the past."

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